The impact of artificial intelligence in medicine on the future role of the physician

PeerJ. 2019 Oct 4;7:e7702. doi: 10.7717/peerj.7702. eCollection 2019.


The practice of medicine is changing with the development of new Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods of machine learning. Coupled with rapid improvements in computer processing, these AI-based systems are already improving the accuracy and efficiency of diagnosis and treatment across various specializations. The increasing focus of AI in radiology has led to some experts suggesting that someday AI may even replace radiologists. These suggestions raise the question of whether AI-based systems will eventually replace physicians in some specializations or will augment the role of physicians without actually replacing them. To assess the impact on physicians this research seeks to better understand this technology and how it is transforming medicine. To that end this paper researches the role of AI-based systems in performing medical work in specializations including radiology, pathology, ophthalmology, and cardiology. It concludes that AI-based systems will augment physicians and are unlikely to replace the traditional physician-patient relationship.

Keywords: Artificial intelligence; Cardiology; Deep learning; Impact; Machine learning; Medicine; Oncology; Opthalmology; Pathology; Physician; Radiology.

Grant support

The author received no funding for this work.